The Value of No Trespassing Signs and No Loitering Signs

Both trespassing and loitering signs are commonplace in cities and towns nationwide, but the reasons for these warnings are often overlooked by the casual passerby or business owner who may or may not be aware of the important roles they play in the enforcement of the law. Both signs are effective and preventative measures for residents and business owners to take up against unwanted or unsightly activities they feel inhibits the safety of the property or the rights they are entitled to by law. Potential criminal activities can be deterred by these otherwise unassuming signs through unique loopholes in the local laws which state that such warnings must be expressly given to the general public before any trespassing or loitering can become a punishable offense. Store owners will find more success posting a No Loitering sign in front of their business than they would simply monitoring the area themselves, while No Trespassing signs along the perimeters of private property successfully deter the majority of trespasses by the general public who might be inclined to breach your private property if such an explicit warning has not been given.

An Effective Measure

Local laws typically stipulate different penalties and perjuries depending on whether or not a warning or forbiddance was given; ignorance of a homeowner’s private property or a business owner’s preference against loitering is often excuse enough to break through such comfort zones and engage in both trespassing and loitering. The presence of trespassing and loitering warnings give business owners and residents the legal authority to fine or penalize someone who lingers around the building or home, or enters into areas the public is not welcome. Local police departments recognize the authority of these signs in ways that they might not recognize the unsaid authority of a person’s property, and it’s this proclivity for clearly printed, publicly displayed warnings that have made such signs so effective. No loitering signs in particular are good preventative measures to take for store owners tired of people crowding around their establishment, potentially deterring new customers and damaging the environment with cycling, skateboarding, gum, trash, and other accumulations that inevitably collect when people are allowed to hang their hats without recourse. Trespassing signs can alert citizens and criminals alike that a property or area is private and off limits to them, which similarly allows the owner of the property to prosecute the trespasser should the warning be infringed upon.

The Ordinance

The success of No Trespassing signs and No Loitering signs depends on the resident or business owner’s understanding of the local ordinances. A sign that is old, faded, and illegible will often not qualify as a legal deterrent, and it cannot be used in future prosecutions when a property is trespassed upon or loitered around. Many territories also require written agreements between the property owner and the local police department in the event that the owner seeks to prosecute a bystander who neglects the sign. For this reason, signs should be well maintained, bright, clean, visible, and prominently displayed in front of the concerning area. Property owners must abide by these ordinances in order to successfully utilize any No Trespassing or No Loitering sign, and a failure to do so will result in an ineffectual warning and a potential trespass or loitering that the property owner will be unable to successfully take action against.